Tags: autism

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This will make you cry

Imagine, if you will, trying everything in your power each day to communicate with your child. Having that child demonstrate that he understands what you are saying to him, but that he cannot get across to you what he wants to say. I love my son. I just wish to God I could understand him.

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Article on Autism

Wired has an interesting article on autism. Read it.

The best line in there, from a young autistic woman using YouTube to make videos about what her condition means, after being asked if autism should be treated: "Yes, it should be treated with respect."

New word that I'm probably going to start using: Neurotypical. It's so much better than "normal" as an adjective for other kids when talking to Sabastion.
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S*P Choo-Choo

The Beginning...

Monday night, I was at work, and my wife calls me up, laughing and crying at the same time. After she managed to get calm enough to be understood, she told me Sabastion had said "Banana".

For those not aware, my four-year-old Sabastion had been diagnosed with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder shortly after his second birthday. We have been working on various therapies, diets, and dietary supplements for the past two years, trying to open a line of communication with him. He has vocalized many different sounds and has occasionally strung sounds together that sounded like words, but he never repeated the word or really said it at a time that it made sense in context. (There have been rare exceptions, but never with enough consistency to be a pattern. For example, he has used "Nana" and "Nanananana" to refer to bananas, his grandmother, whether the TV is to low, and just stimming in general.)

Now, don't get me wrong, the boy is smart as anything. He has demonstrated time and again that he understands what is being said to him. (I think he has also demonstrated that he understands, as long as he can't speak, he has more leeway to get away with things he KNOWS he's not allowed to do.) And he can often get the concept of "yes" or "no" across to someone, although he's more then willing to throw a fit if he doesn't his way.

This is why it was with great joy that Fire-Eyes called me and said that Sabastion had walked up to her with banana in hand, pushed it toward her, and clearly said, "Banana."

His mother was stunned! "What do you want?" she asked.

"Banana," he replied.

Still in a bit of shock, she asked, "Are you sure?"

Sabastion sighed with exasperation. "Banana." And he said it a couple more times while eating it, too.

But that's not the end of this story! Sabastion was standing on the recliner in the living room today watching Blue's Clues. Actually, he was jumping on the chair, one of those things I mentioned earlier that he's not allowed to do, and I was about to make him get down when I noticed his stance was a little different. I realized he may have just filled his Pull-Ups.

"Sabastion, are you stinky?" I asked.

He paused, put a hand on the back of his pants, and replied with a sigh, "I stinky." (Now, the "I" may have just been a part of the sigh, but "stinky" was articulated VERY clearly.)


You have to understand: based on all that I have read on Autism, whether or not an Autistic child EVER speaks is always a diceroll, and you won't know if he ever will until he actually does. Sabastion just did.

Like I said: Not the end of the story, just the beginning.
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Posting from work

A couple thoughts I've been meaning to post, and since it's been a slow night...

Going Gluten-Free

Okay, so I've been on this diet for close to a month now, and my taste in food has definitely changed. The appetite is still a raging monster, but I've noticed certain foods just taste better. For example, a couple weeks ago Fire-Eyes and I were out and about (the kids were with Gramma) and we stopped at Denny's for breakfast. I had a T-bone steak and eggs, and I thought it was the best steak I had ever had!

Now, you have to understand, most of my life I was not a big beef eater. It was okay, but I never had a real craving for it, and if we were having money problems, I was perfectly happy with less-expensive types of meat (chicken, etc.). I am not suddenly craving beef, but I am certainly enjoying it more.

The Wife's Gall-Bladder

Well, several weeks ago, Fire-Eyes woke up in the middle of the night almost screaming in pain. This is not the SOP for my wife, who has gotten a knife stuck through her hand and calmly told the guy who did it (it was a friend, and it was an accident) to run before she tried taking it out. She also decked an orderly during the C-section for our son (she was actually unconscious for that, and a nurse said the guy was "getting in her space" anyway). I almost expected to see a sword sticking out of her.

A trip to the ER, and they said she had gall stones. They gave her pain meds and sent her home, planning on operating a few days later. An ultrasound and a CT (or was it CAT?) scan over the next few days, and they're saying, "Oh, your gall bladder isn't inflamed. You have a couple gall stones, but it doesn't look severe. Maybe you were passing a kidney stone?" So surgery is put on the back burner.

Things are going okay. We had a GURPS game this last Saturday. Maybe her body's super-healing ability (a whole 'nother post that should be on HER blog, as it's not really mine) took care of the problem. I've seen stranger things. So I'm giving one of our gaming buddies a ride home, and on the way back I get a call from my mother-in-law.

"Am I coming up there, or meeting you at the emergency room?"
"Huh?" was my intelligent reply. "I'm in Titusville. I just dropped Fred off."
"You wife just called me. She had another attack. I'll head up to your place." I said I'd meet her there.

Fire-Eyes had her gall bladder removed Sunday afternoon. She came home on Monday, but was in a lot of pain. She's getting better, however, which is good. When she's hurting, it makes my heart hurt.
S*P Choo-Choo

Going Gluten-Free

Last week, I was discussing with the wife the effects of gluten, like from wheat products, on Sabastion. As we talked, I started to realize I felt some of these effects as well. After a while, Fire-Eyes asked me, "Do you want to try going gluten-free for a week? Since we haven't gotten groceries yet, now would be the time to try it."

I decided to give it a shot. Now, I have never been on a strict diet before. (The closest thing to a diet I've done is when Fire-Eyes moved in with me and started cooking for me: I ate better than I had before in my life, and lost 10 pounds!) Fortunately, this isn't exactly a strict diet, but I just have to watch what I'm eating, which means the homemade pizza leftovers are off-limits, as is the cake FE made, etc.. But there was enough GF food in the house that I had other options, although my sweet-tooth has been complaining lately...

The first day or two went well, then I had this incredible craving for ANYTHING sweet. My mother-in-law came by for a visit and brought glazed donuts. I had two, and twenty minutes later felt like I had taken a couple sleeping pills. It only lasted for an hour or two, but my God! I experimented a litle with it: a sandwich cookie the next day didn't make me actually drowsy, but it did have a slight effect that I could detect when I knew to look for it.

As I was playing with Esme (14 weeks old yesterday! Yay!) the other day, Dana and Fire-Eyes noted that I had a lot more energy. It's true, I seem to have more focus and more will to get personal projects done. I just need time to do them, now. :)

The other thing about going gluten-free: you are HUNGRY ALL THE TIME. Yesterday, for breakfast, I had ham and eggs, as in 3 big slices of ham and FIVE eggs. Holy crap, no wonder Sabastion always wants to eat!